Sanctuary Lighting and Video Upgrade Project

Community UMC’s Sanctuary has two primary light sources: windows that provide natural light from the outdoors and cove lights running along the two sides of the room that reflect light off of the ceiling. The sources and design of our lighting present a number of challenges:

  • The space looks and feels dim even when all of the current lights are turned on.
  • There is not enough light in the chancel area for instrumentalists (bells, piano/organ, band) and vocalists (choir) to clearly see their music, or for readers to clearly see words written on a piece of paper.
  • Low front lighting makes it difficult for members of the congregation seated in the pews to clearly see faces and objects in the chancel area.
  • The visuals being projected on the screen are washed out by ambient light.

Over the last few years, we sought potential solutions to all of the challenges listed above. We evaluated potential solutions presented by four different companies, being mindful that any solution to the challenges above must:

  • Benefit all ministry groups in the church – not any one group over another
  • Support all types of worship from ancient to traditional to contemporary
  • Accentuate the features of our Sanctuary that make the space unique
  • Use lighting to create a space that will be welcoming to new people and new groups

On Thursday, May 4, the Trustee, Finance, and Church Council members, along with anyone else who could attend, heard a presentation from Spire AVL that meets all of our goals. Included below is a brief summary of the details presented in the proposal and a video recording of the presentation.

House Lighting 

These lights will provide direct lighting over the pew seating area and consist of nine pendants hung from the ceiling. There will be three pendants over each section of pews and three over the middle aisle to provide seamless lighting across the whole space. There will also be new LED lighting installed in the side coves to provide white and/or colored lighting options to enhance the feeling of the space.

Front/Stage Lighting

Also known as theatrical lighting, these lights illuminate the chancel area so congregants seated in the pews can clearly see everything up front and provide much-needed light for choir members, bell ringers, accompanists, and band members to see their music while standing in the chancel area. Front lighting will be provided by light fixtures hung from the ceiling above the front of the balcony and above the chancel area.

Lighting Control

No longer will we have to figure out which light switch turns on which lights. New button stations near the sanctuary doors will provide easy, one-touch operation of all lights in the space based upon programmed settings.

Visual Presentation

Creation LED walls will provide clear and vibrant graphic, video, and word presentation on both sides of the sanctuary. Since LEDs emit light rather than reflect light, the ambient light in the room will not wash out the picture. This will also improve viewing angles and make it easier for congregants sitting anywhere in the room to easily see the content being presented.

Professional Services

The proposal includes all of the cost for design, installation, and training on the new features.

The presenter from Spire AVL described all of the specific equipment in detail and answered a lot of questions from the members present at the proposal presentation. In the end, he said that he is most excited for us to upgrade the lighting and visual presentation capabilities in our Sanctuary to enhance the space as “a playground for ministry.”

Town Hall

The Trustees, Finance team, Church Council, and A/V team hosted a virtual Town Hall on Tuesday, May 30 to present an overview of this proposal to the congregation and to field any questions that may arise. Click here to view a recording of the Town Hall.